This is going to be great...

Kyoto Travel Blog

 › entry 3 of 17 › view all entries

I have a problem with taking photos.  On one hand, I love to have them - it's cool to be able to look at them in the future and remember back to when such-and-such was happening, and it's cool to be able to show people things that are often hard to describe with mere words.  On the other hand, carrying a camera around can be a pain in the balls, and it's annoying to try to anticipate when the kodak moments are going to occur, and most of the time I just want to be in the present, not thinking about the future me sitting back home thinking "fuck I wish I had a picture of whatever".  This is especially a problem when I am out drinking.  Being drunk adds the extra element of potentiallly losing the camera, or taking a picture of something I regret.  But, sometimes the drunken chaos that ensues is a fucking hoot, and having the camera can remind me of the fun things I did while I was blacked out.  It's a goddamn pickle I tell you.  In any case, this evening I decided to forgo the camera and hence I have no pcitures to add to this entry.  This will be a barrier for some people, but let me just summarize the night by saying that I think this trip is going to be awesome.  Now for the longer verson: <p>  Kyoto is a big city, and despite being the location of a large number of cultural sites, it is still very much a city.  At night, there is a lot going on, and the best thing of all is that most places don't close until the sun comes up.  This is important, as the excellent Japenese rail system (known as the JR) comes to a complete stop at 11:30pm.  Because the train stops so early, you pretty much have to make a decision;  are you going to go out for only a few hours and then trek home, or are you going to make the commitment and stay out until at least 5:30am when the trains start running again?  If you really want to have a good time (and I believe that you do!) then you choose the latter, and pace yourself accordingly.  The need for pacing appeared to be a foreign concept to many visitors, as I witnessed numerous people vomiting on the street or being carried around ala Michael Cera in Superbad.  It was all very harmonous tho, and the place had a great vibe to it.  We were barhopping in a neighboorhood that the Lonely Planet guidebook descriptively calls "Downtown Kyoto" a block or two from the Kamo river with some friends of my friend Matt (the guy I know who is teaching English here for the Japanese Gov aka the reason I came to Japan in the first place.) and most of the places we visited were pretty cool.  Prices varied greatly however.  The place I hung out the longest was a cool little 5th floor bar called "Moonwalk", where all drinks no matter what are 200 yen.  They have a menu with about 400 drinks on it, half of them being things I have heard of and half being "original creations" of the bar, and they are categorized based on the liquor that serves the base of the drink.  While at this bar we got to talking with a few other gaijin who were visiting, one from San Francisco, one from Holland and one from Sydney.  The guy from Sydney told us that he and his friend had tried every single drink on the menu in a 2 month period.  A noble goal I though, one that I myself would like to achieve had I the time and yen.  Other places we visited that night included Nikky's Bar, a small 8th floor bar that was run by one of Matt's friends friend.  The bar was the size of one's living room, and I think it may have actually been the owners living room.  It was a cool place tho, a very accessible DJ spun some discs while we danced around like drunken idiots.  When 5am rolled around, the owner offered us all a spot on the floor if we wanted to crash there, but I was still full of energy and passed on the offer.  The sun was up by the time we rolled out.  After a quick vending machine breakfast, some aimless wandering and a few train rides we were back home.  I got into bed at 8:30am.  I am going to be pissed off when I go back to the US and get kicked out of the bars at 2am.  This all night thing is gonna be alright...













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photo by: ys484